3D printing (3DP) is a kind of rapid prototyping technology, also known as additive manufacturing. It is a technology based on digital model files, using powder metal or plastic and other adhesive materials to construct objects through layer-by-layer printing.
3D printing is usually realized by digital technology material printer. It is often used in mold manufacturing, industrial design and other fields to manufacture models, and then gradually used in the direct manufacturing of some products. There are already parts printed using this technology. This technology has been applied in jewelry, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), automotive, aerospace, dental and medical industries, education, geographic information systems, civil engineering, firearms and other fields.
On January 14, 2019, the University of California, San Diego, the United States, for the first time used rapid 3D printing technology to produce a spinal cord scaffold that mimics the structure of the central nervous system, and successfully helped rats recover their motor function.
On May 5, 2020, China's first successful Long March 5B carrier rocket was carrying a "3D printer". This is the first space 3D printing experiment in China and the first time in the world to carry out the 3D printing experiment of continuous fiber reinforced composites in space.